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An annual tradition: Classic bikes make their way down the Island
More than 1,000 motorcycle riders flocked to Vashon last weekend for the 29th annual Isle of Vashon ride hosted by Seattle’s Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts. Nine hundred riders registered for the event, and many others turned out to soak in the scene, according to Islander Jody Heintzman, one of the organizers.
“We appreciate the community putting up with this event,” he said, noting that he knows some Islanders are fans of the event and others less so. He also gave a nod of appreciation to the Sportsmen’s Club for hosting the lunch and games portion of the day.
In an effort to control the size of the gathering, its date has long been a closely held secret. The club only lets its members have access to the information, though it does tell Island restaurants so that they can better accommodate the crowds, he said.
The ride itself covers the full length of the Island and takes motorcyclists to Dockton, mostly on vintage bikes.
Normandy Park resident and yacht salesman John Swenson — who happens to keep a gleaming restored BSA in his living room — made the trip out this year on his 1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador. He has ridden in 15 of the rides and plans to keep coming out.
“The reason the ride is so fun is that those are some of the
nicest roads to ride and some of the best views on the planet — on top of looking at all those old, beautiful classic motorcycles,” he said.